What’s the American boating market’s trend? How is it difficult for Italian markets to enter it? We met and interviewed Massimo Jannone (in the photo below), Sales Manager of Rio Yachts, at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The group participates to the event with its 42 Air and Espera 34. Massimo told us about the yard’s strategies and the new upcoming models, included a surprising new fly range.
Rio Yachts “lands” in USA… how is this market important for you?
We landed here last year at Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Since then, we’ve had some excellent results. We sold our boats from 34 to 58 m and now we’ve an excellent relationship with our dealer in Miami. This has always been the first market in the world. Being present here is absolutely strategic.
What are the main difficulties in penetrating this market?
Distance, of course, doesn’t help. Transport, bureaucracy, etc.. make things difficult. Once here, the country is so big that each move is challenging. On the other hand, it’s important to be able to bring a good number of boats so that people can touch and discover them. If you want to sell a boat, you have to give people the possibility to test them, especially here, where buyers are more demanding, attentive and competent. They really sail and they clearly know what they want.
How many hours do they sell in a year?
About 250 hours on average, which are essential numbers for us. Then, they’ve high and right expectations in terms of assistance, service and insurances. It’s a challenging stimulating market. Moreover, they’ ve another beautiful prerogative….
If you conquer them, they will follow you and we grow with them. Working with this kind of shipowners can teach you a lot. Then, they’re less focused on price, since the essential question is: ” Do I like it?”. If the answer is positive, they move like a railroad train. They ask for a multitude of optionals, they enrich the boat and have fun. Once they’ve chosen their boat, price takes second place.
So, they’re demanding but ready to spend. How do you attract them? How do you change your European models to meet the American needs?
We change them very much. One of our strengths is our ability to create semi-custom boats. We manage to satisfy the needs of every buyer, create a customized boat which will be different from all the others. We don’t change only details in woods or fabrics, we adjust our products to their personality.
What are your most successful models?
It’s hard to say that since it depends on the different area we consider: Great Lakes, New York, California and Florida, especially Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Here, the best size is from 45 to 70 feet. People ask for spacious boats provided with a flybridge. And, in fact, we’re working on a new flybridge range.
So, what about news?
First of all, a new 40-foot model provided with a long bottom, a larger engine room and a propeller-shaft transmission system. Then, maybe at the Naples Boat Show, we’ll present Spider 40, a 100% Mediterranean open with no hard top.